Top Bible Verses about Prayer
2 Chronicles 7:14
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Famous Christian Quotes About Prayer, Meditation
Are Set Prayers Allowed?
Is it lawful to pray in a set form of words? Nothing but very great ignorance can make you really doubt of it. Has God anywhere forbid it? You will say that it is enough that he has not commanded it. I answer that in general he has commanded it to all whose edification it tends to when he commands you that all be done to edification; but he has given no particular command, nor prohibition. No more has he commanded you to pray in English, French, or Latin; nor to sing psalms in this tune or that; nor after this or that version or translation; nor to preach in this method particularly or that; nor always to preach upon a text; nor to use written notes; nor to compose a form of words, and learn them, and preach them after they are composed, with a hundred suchlike, which are undoubtedly lawful; indeed, and needful to some, though not to others. If you make up all your prayer of Scripture sentences, this is to pray in a form of prescribed words, and yet as lawful and fit as any of your own. The psalms are most of them forms of prayer or praise, which the Spirit of God prescribed for the use of the church, and of particular persons.
The Difference Between Study and Meditation
The end of study is information, and the end of meditation is practice, or a work upon the affections. Study is like a winter sun that shines but does not warm, but meditation is like blowing up the fire, where we do not mind the blaze but the heat. The end of study is to hoard up truth, but of meditation to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation. In study, we are rather like vintners that take in wine to store themselves for sale; in meditation, like those that buy wine for their own use and comfort. A vintner’s cellar may be better stored than a nobleman’s; the student may have more of notion and knowledge, but the practical Christian has more of taste and refreshment.
The Importance of Attentiveness in Prayer
God does not give ear to the prayer to which even he who prays gives no attention. This lack of attention but too often occurs with us through the temptation of the evil one. He knows well the utility of prayer; he envies us the privilege of being able to address ourselves to God, and therefore stirs up a tumult of thoughts in those that are at prayer so as to lead the mind off that holy exercise and rob it of its fruit. Against his malice we must practice constancy of will, so that the more he attacks us with troubling thoughts, so much the more stoutly must the soul stand fast in the faithful observance of its whole state of life.